Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield have welcomed today’s Stage Three vote on the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill which increases the legal protection for shopworkers and others working in retail and distribution.

The Members’ Bill was brought forward by Labour MSP Daniel Johnson and creates a new statutory offence of assaulting, threatening or abusing a retail worker and provides further legal protections when the worker is carrying out their statutory duties such as age restricted sales.

The Bill had the support of all the political parties as well as the Usdaw and GMB Unions, the Co-Operative Party and retail groups including the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) and the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC).

Mr Gray and Mr Whitfield were among the early backers of the legislation and welcomed Mr Johnson to East Lothian in the summer of 2018 to discuss his proposed bill with local Labour party members.

Iain Gray MSP said: 

“I’m delighted that Daniel’s bill received such strong support from MSPs across the political spectrum at its final stage. I’ve supported efforts to increase protection at work for retail staff for many years and it’s great to see that goal finally achieved. It will make a real difference to retail workers and Daniel deserves great praise for having taken this bill all the way to the statute book.” 

Martin Whitfield said: 

“This pandemic has seen retail workers on the front line; performing critical roles, supplying the essentials to all of us to keep going. With another national lockdown taking place, it’s highly appropriate that the importance of respecting and protecting the role of retail workers properly has been recognised through the passage of this welcome legislation.” 

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